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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Laurie Pryor (DFL)

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Legislative Update - June 10, 2019

Monday, June 10, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

It was an honor to be the keynote speaker at the Memorial Day Ceremony at Groveland Cemetery. Despite the rain, it was rewarding to see so many neighbors gathered to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the betterment of our nation.

After a one-day special session to finish our work, the Legislature adjourned for the year on May 25. We were able to reach agreement on the two-year state budget and on several other pieces of significant legislation. Working in a divided government requires compromise and persistence, but overall our budget improves opportunities for Minnesotans to succeed. We protected health care access for more than 1 million Minnesotans, increased investments in education from early childhood to career, and strengthened economic security for Minnesota families. In these next updates, I will recap our progress on some of the major issues.


All Minnesota students deserve a world-class education, but past underfunding has put this in jeopardy. Our new budget increases funding for schools by two percent each of the next two years. These investments will help prevent teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and other cuts which harm the potential of students. In addition to this increase on the funding formula, our budget for the first time addresses the rapidly increasing cost of special education services. For years the federal government has failed to fund this at promised levels. Our budget will help fill this deficit so that our schools will be able to meet the needs of all students. The budget also protects funding for voluntary pre-k programs for 4,000 Minnesota children and early learning scholarships, helping ensure our youngest learners get off to a great start.

Health Care

This year, an important funding mechanism for health care access was due to sunset. Failing to act meant 1.2 million Minnesotans were at risk of losing affordable healthcare. Minnesotans of all ages and backgrounds came to the Capitol to tell personal stories about how this would harm their health and their livelihoods. After tough negotiations, we were able to protect this critical funding. We also worked hard to make prescription drugs more affordable, and earlier this session we took action to regulate pharmaceutical middlemen who drive up prices. There is still plenty of work to do though, including stopping price gouging and addressing the high cost of certain medications like insulin.

Elder Abuse

 A 2017 Star Tribune multi-part story documenting assault, abuse, neglect and other crimes in Minnesota’s senior care facilities brought attention to the need to improve safeguards for older and vulnerable Minnesotans. Based on a consensus plan for reform reached by the AARP of Minnesota, other advocates, and industry representatives, we approved HF 90. When the legislative session started, Minnesota was the only state that didn’t regulate assisted living facilities, and this bill changed that. The bill also includes a bill of rights for residents, stronger consumer protection measures, uniform standards for facilities providing dementia care services, and protections of the ability for residents to have a camera in their living space. Family members expect that when a loved one enters a facility like this, they receive the care they need. These protections will better ensure they can.

Help Manage Emerald Ash Borer

In 2017, emerald ash borer (EAB) was confirmed in Eden Prairie. As part of its multiyear EAB management plan, the city is treating and removing ash trees on public property. The city will replace diseased trees with a diverse selection of species at one-and-a half times the rate of removal.
The city’s plan also includes promoting proper management of ash trees on private property, which includes treating trees at least 10 inches in diameter and in good physical condition. Discounted EAB treatment rates are available to residents through 2020. Click here to learn more.
Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback. I value hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. It’s an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.
Laurie Pryor
State Representative